Fact or Fiction: Skin Allergies

By: Alison Cooper

Fact or Fiction: Skin Allergies
Image: ©iStockphoto.com/Nathaniel Frey

About This Quiz

Most of us have had skin allergies at one point or another -- be it hives from a certain food or a mysterious rash. But could your asthma be linked to your skin allergies? Take our quiz to find out what kinds of things can really get under your skin.
You can get hives as big as dinner plates.
fact
Yes, it's true -- hives can get that big.
fiction
almost fact: Hives are only about as big around as a pencil eraser.

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Angladema is a condition similar to hives, but the swelling happens under the skin, not on top.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's angioedema.
Angioedema causes swelling under the skin, usually around the eyes and lips.

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Hives and angioedema are allergic reactions caused by histamines.
fact
Histamines (chemicals released from blood vessels) can cause plasma to leak out of blood vessels, which in turn causes hives and angioedema.
fiction
almost fact: Hives have to do with histamines, but angioedema doesn't.

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There is a wide range of things that could cause histamine release.
fact
Histamine release could be triggered by food, insect bites, medicine and sun exposure -- so it's often hard to tell what causes hives and angioedema.
fiction
almost fact: Chemicals in foods are what cause histamine release.

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Cooked foods cause hives more often than fresh foods do.
fact
fiction
Fresh foods are actually more often the culprit.
almost fact: It doesn't matter if the foods are cooked or fresh.

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If you get a skin reaction from coming in contact with an allergen, it's called allergic contact dermatitis.
fact
It's allergic contact dermatitis, and it can be caused by any number of things -- from poison ivy to perfume.
fiction
almost fact: It's called concussive dermatitis.

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Epidermal dermatitis (otherwise known as itchy rash) is the most common skin condition in adults.
fact
fiction
The term is atopic dermatitis, and it's most common in children.
almost fact: It's most common in children.

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About 30 percent of Americans report a case of hives every year.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's more like 15 percent.
About 15 percent of the American population is affected by hives each year.

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Seventy percent of people with eczema have a family history of allergies or asthma.
fact
Experts still aren't totally sure what causes eczema, but they figure there must be a link with allergies and asthma because so many people have both.
fiction
almost fact: It's only about 10 percent.

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If you have a rash of unknown origin, one of the first things you should do is stop drinking orange juice.
fact
fiction
Actually, perfume is often the culprit. The FDA doesn't require ingredient labels on personal fragrances, so you could be putting an allergen on your skin without knowing it.
almost fact: You should stop using your body lotion.

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You Got:
/10
©iStockphoto.com/Nathaniel Frey

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